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SUNY Poly, partners pursue an advanced-manufacturing center in Marcy

By Eric Reinhardt


MARCY — SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is working with companies in Albany and one in DeWitt to create a nanotechnology testbed site in Marcy.


U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) are seeking federal funding to help the effort, the lawmakers said in a news release issued Aug. 6.


The public-private partnership seeks to establish an advanced-manufacturing performance (AMP) center at SUNY Poly’s Quad-C in Marcy, according to the lawmakers’ release. 


The AMP would allow the school to focus on the research and development of nanotechnologies for advanced manufacturing.


The companies include SEMATECH Inc., which is based at SUNY Poly’s Albany campus; Edwards, a United Kingdom–based developer and manufacturer of vacuum products, which has a location in Albany; and Switzerland–based Inficon, which operates a location in DeWitt. 


Inficon is a provider of instrumentation, sensor technologies, and advanced process-control software in industrial vacuum processes, according to its website.


The group has applied for $1.25 million in federal funding through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) economic-adjustment assistance grant program, the lawmakers said.


An AMP center at Quad-C would “spur growth” at SUNY Poly’s campus in Marcy and “further support the nanotechnology ecosystem across New York.” 


Schumer and Gillibrand contend the proposed Utica AMP Center would bring more nanotechnology companies to the Mohawk Valley and “spur regional economic development by bringing good-paying, high-tech jobs to the area.” 


Nanotechnology is an advanced form of scientific manipulation of matter in varying sizes, as described in the lawmakers’ news release. Since nanotechnology often deals with particles on an “extremely small,” or “nano scale,” any research on the subject requires “sophisticated equipment and a significant technological investment.”


Funding use

The group would use the requested EDA funding to construct two testbeds and establish inspection capabilities in Marcy.


The money would also provide the AMP facility the “necessary” resources to start advanced-manufacturing initiatives and establish “long-term” workforce-development objectives for high-tech industries, Schumer and Gillibrand said. 


The proposed AMP center would also serve as a testbed site for research in the semiconductor industry, specifically photovoltaic, power electronics, and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. 


In addition to the $1.25 million sought from the EDA application, the state of New York would also provide the AMP center a matching $1.25 million grant, the lawmakers said. The project cost totals “roughly” $2.5 million.


The partners anticipate launching operations at the AMP center by the fourth quarter of 2016, if the EDA can approve their application in an “expeditious fashion,” Schumer and Gillibrand said.


Schumer cites “sophisticated” research facilities at Quad-C, a “highly skilled” workforce, and public-private investment that make the Utica area an “ideal” location for an advanced-manufacturing performance center.


“Upstate New York’s nanotech corridor is home to the finest scientific minds and research resources in the field of nanotechnology, and this proposed center is exactly what the Mohawk Valley needs to add to this already promising industry,” Schumer said. “That is why I am calling on the EDA to select the SUNY Poly-led application that will get this project moving. Bringing the AMP center to Utica would be a win-win-win for the Mohawk Valley, SUNY Poly and its corporate partners, and the local residents who could greatly benefit from the high-tech, good-paying jobs this groundbreaking research would bring to Central New York.”


Investments in research and development are “critical” to boosting the local economy, attracting new businesses, and creating new jobs, Gillibrand said.           



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